Thirteen RCTs were included (n=2,500).
Five studies reported randomisation methods, 10 reported adequate allocation concealment, two were double-blinded and four were single-blinded, four used a placebo control, nine used ITT analysis and in eight studies groups were comparable at baseline.
Acupuncture at the time of the time of transvaginal retrieval (five RCTs, n=877)
None of the studies used a sham acupuncture control. There was no statistically significant difference between acupuncture and control in the clinical pregnancy rate, RR 1.06 (95% CI: 0.82, 1.37; p=0.65). No significant heterogeneity was found (p=0.13).
Acupuncture at the time of embryo transfer (eight RCTs, n=1,623)
All studies used traditional needle acupuncture; one study used laser acupuncture in one arm of a multiarm trial. There was no statistically significant difference between acupuncture and control in the clinical pregnancy rate, RR 1.23 (95% CI: 0.96, 1.58, p=0.09, significant heterogeneity was found, p=0.003) or the live birth rate, RR 1.34 (95% CI: 0.85, 2.11). No statistically significant treatment differences were found for the sensitivity analysis and no significant associations were found between clinical pregnancy rate and covariates including the use of sham acupuncture.
No evidence of publication bias was found.